Posts Tagged ‘cranes’

Dual-Purpose Machine Q&A

On mMay 24th 2016, Cranes101 hosted a Round Table meeting to discuss the unique nature of these Dual-Purpose Machines. We were glad to have such a diverse group of attendees at the event, because they brought their own perspective and knowledge on the subject to share with the group. We started off the discussion by explaining the difference between Bucket Trucks and Cranes stability. Then the conversation opened and we enjoyed a great afternoon of Questions and Answer. Below, here are the highlights from our discussion:

Bucket Trucks: 

Understanding Stability

Per OSHA, refer to the ANSI A92.2 standards for the stability test requirements.

  • The stability test is required to be done by the upfitter, i.e.; the person(s) responsible for attaching the base to the chassis, one time.
  • Truck should be stable at 150% of load when at its worst condition, i.e.; stick straight out.
  • Truck should be able to turn 360°.
  • If truck passes above requirements, this would be the last time a stability check is needed, unless further repairs are done on the truck.

Questions from this section

Question: Does an outrigger repair qualify as “further repairs”?

Answer: Yes. If it is a typical repair, it would require re-certification.

Cranes:

Understanding Stability for Suspended Platforms

Per OSHA, refer to the ASME B30.5 standards for the stability test requirements.

  •  The stability test is required to be done every time you move the crane.
  • The procedure includes;
    • 5-minute suspension test with 25% of the weight attached
    • Weight must meet OSHA’s specifications
    • Test pick which cannot exceed 50% of the basket’s capacity
    • Needs to include your expected capacity in the basket
  • A pre-lift briefing is required at ever stability test. Those in attendance must include;
    • Lift Director
    • Person(s) going in basket

Questions from this section

Question: After the test pick is done, is there a requirement to document the pick?

Answer: It is not required. However, for liability purposes, whenever a pick or test is conducted there should be proper documentation.

Question: Why must my suspension test take 5-minutes?

Answer: This is an OSHA requirement.

 

***DOCUMENTATION beats CONVERSATION!***

If there’s a record of it, you won’t have to talk about whether it’s done or not.

meeting Jay speaker

General Discussion:

Question: How should I go about identifying a Dual-Purpose Machine?

Answer: To date, OSHA and ANSI do not make reference on how to define a dual-purpose machine, so there is no guideline to go by. This is a loaded question that can only be answered by opinion since there is no verbiage on this. The term “Dual-Purpose Machine” is a relatively new term. Manufacturers are still discussing how they are going to handle these machines. So, you can’t always depend on your manufacturer to determine if your machine is dual-purpose. To properly identify this machine, there might be a bit of investigating.

You should also note that

  • You can attach a basket to a crane without making it a dual-purpose machine in some instances
  • Not all manufactures identify a machine as a dual-purpose machine.

 

Question: If you cannot make the determination as to if the machine is dual-purpose or not, then what becomes the default standard?

Answer: Our opinion is to have the manufacturer make that determination.

 

Question: Are any manufacturers currently selling clearly identified Dual-Purpose Machines?

Answer: National Crane will be releasing this machine in 2016.

 

Question: How are range limits achieved?

Answer: With a bucket truck, they typically turn 360°. A crane’s range limits are dependent on mechanical limitations, and the operator needs to be aware of this to test those limits before getting into the basket.

 

Question: Does OSHA require a documented daily inspection?

Answer: No. However, you should check with your employer as they might require it. Also, in the state of Massachusetts, it is a requirement to document your daily inspections.

 

Question: Does OSHA require a documented monthly crane inspection?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question: What standards should I follow for my dual-purpose machine if it is configured as a crane?

Answer: You should follow the ASME B30.5 standards, unless you attach a bucket. Then, you would be required to follow the ASME B30.23 standards.

 

Question: Where is it recommended that I add my notes to document that I did a test pick on my suspended platform crane?

Answer: A suggestion would be right in the daily inspection log under the comment section.

 

Question: Does Massachusetts have the same definition for cranes as OSHA does?

Answer: No.

 

Question: In your opinion, what is the most common cause in accidents for both bucket trucks and cranes?

Answer: Lack of training.

 

Question: How do I know what standards I should be following? What makes that distinction?

Answer: You need to know what industry you are categorized in. The same machine can fall under different standards, depending on what they are being used for. You need to be educated on the different standards and how and when they apply.

Question: In the standards, there is no mention to “use this dual-purpose machine” when feasible. Shouldn’t there be?

Answer: Sometimes there are voids in the standards. This may have been done purposely in order to open discussion for revisions.

 

Question: The use of equipment to hoist employees is prohibited, except in the OSHA 1926 subpart CC. Why is that?

Answer: This is a perfect example of balancing liability. Without an incident, it may not be a safety issue. However, you may be setting yourself up for a liability issue.

 

Question: When a scenario comes up where you are bidding a job, whose responsibility is it to assign the proper equipment for the job?

Answer: There is usually mention in the contract that the contractor will follow the most stringent requirement that applies. This can also depend on the culture of the job.

 

Question: If ANSI and ASME are considered voluntary standards, then this means that they are not the law. Also, good practices and manufacturer’s recommendations are not the law. So, what exactly is the law?

Answer: You need to meet OSHA’s requirements every time. If OSHA refers to an ANSI or ASME standard, then it has now become a law. If OSHA says to refer to your manufacturer, then the referral you receive from them is now the law. The rules of good practices can always exceed OSHA’s requirements, however, they can never come short from what OSHA expects.

On a side note, for liability purposes, you should know that lawyers are not restricted to consensus standards. This means that it is important for the employer to have an understanding of the expectations from all areas.

 

Question: How does the operator protect themselves and know how to operate a Dual-Purpose machine safely?

Answer: The operator must read and understand the operator’s manual.

 

Question: Can a company be cited if there is proof that their operator did not read and understand the operator’s manual?

Answer: Yes.

 

Question: If the machine is built to the A92.2 standards, do you still have to do a load test?

Answer: Only if you can prove that it is built to the A92.2 standards by identifying it on the plate. If the machine has a winch on it, it is now a crane.

 

Question: What if the machines winch is not functioning, i.e.; tied off, and you are using the machine to change light bulbs. What standard do you use?

Answer: OSHA 1910 Standards; because you are not using the machine for construction.

 

Question: Should the supervisor know how to run a Dual-Purpose machine?
Answer: Yes. The supervisor and anyone running the machine should be trained on how to operate these machines. This will broaden the understanding of how to safely operate this machine.

 

Question: What prevents an operator from flipping the switch and using the machine in a different way?

Answer: That has to come from management and discipline, separate from training. In our opinion, altering the functionality of the machine in any way that is unsafe or incorrect would be means for dismissal. This message needs to be clearly understood. Furthermore, having documentation that the operator has signed and understood how the machine is to be operated is a good practice for liability.

 

Question: Is there ever a time where working near power lines or radio towers causes interference?

Answer: Yes. When working with radio towers that has happened.

 

Question: How does the employer ensure safe operation of a Dual-Purpose Machine; or any piece of equipment for that matter?

Answer: Qualify the operator and document it.

 

Question: What are some suggestions for the manufacturer to best provide a safe machine?

Answer: Involve the operator/end-user when they are designing the machine.

A Year of Injuries, and Lessons

 

This article was posted on the U.S. Department of Labor Blog

Filed in Español, Safety By Dr. David Michaels on March 17, 2016

In January 2015, we started requiring employers to report any work-related severe injury – such as an amputation or an injury requiring hospitalization – within 24 hours. In the first year, we received 10,388 reports, or nearly 30 a day.

Each report told the story of a man or woman who went to work one day and experienced a traumatic event, sometimes with permanent consequences to themselves and their families. But the reports also created opportunities for OSHA to engage with employers in ways we had never done before, and to ensure that changes were made to prevent similar incidents from happening to others.

hospitalizations

We learned things that surprised us, encouraged us and sometimes disappointed us. Today, we published a report of our evaluation that features stories from our offices around the country and reflects on lessons learned in the first year.

Our two main goals for the new reporting requirement were to engage more employers in identifying and eliminating serious hazards themselves, and to allow us to better target our enforcement and compliance assistance efforts to places where workers are most at risk. After reviewing the field reports and associated data, we are confident that both goals are being met.

A few examples explain how:

  • In Chicago, a conveyor loaded with liquid chocolate suddenly started up as a worker was cleaning a roller. Her arm was pulled in and mangled so badly that she required a plate and skin grafting. To prevent future injuries, the employer installed metal guards to shield workers’ arms and hands from moving machinery as well as warning alarms and flashing lights that are activated 20 seconds before the conveyor moves.
  • In Idaho, a valve cover (long known to be problematic) snapped shut on the hand of a truck driver who was loading a tanker, severing his fingertip. After the amputation, the employer devised a new hands-free tool for closing the valve, and alerted the manufacturer and other employers likely to use the same equipment.
  • At a sawmill, a chipper operator’s arm was amputated after he tried to clear a conveyor jam. In response, the owner suspended operations for a week and made improvements that went far beyond what OSHA required, including installing electrical shut-offs within easy reach of all workers, placing catwalks around the entire mill, and providing handheld radios for all employees.

In these cases and many more, employers worked closely with OSHA specialists to protect the safety and health of their workers. In fact, we responded to more than half of all injury reports  not by sending inspectors to the scene but by asking employers to conduct their own incident investigations and propose remedies to prevent future injuries.

At other times, the reported hazards warranted a worksite inspection, and we were able to investigate the incident and determine whether hazards remained.

But we were also disappointed by a handful of employers who went to great lengths to conceal injuries or hazards. In one stunning example, a manufacturer tried to hide an entire production line from OSHA inspectors after a staffing agency reported the amputation of a worker’s finger. Inspectors who uncovered the back room found a row of machinery with exposed parts that could have caused other workers to lose their fingers.

While we have made progress toward ensuring that severe injuries are quickly reported, we believe a sizable proportion of these types of injuries are still not being reported. That’s why we’re developing outreach strategies, including working through insurers, first responders, and business organizations to ensure that all employers know of their obligations to report severe injuries. Those who choose not to report should know that, now that the requirement is in its second year, OSHA is more likely to cite for non-reporting, and we have increased the maximum penalty for not reporting a severe injury from $2,000 to $7,000.

We will continue to evaluate the program and make changes to improve its effectiveness. To help protect the safety and health of the nation’s workers, it is essential that employers report all severe injuries, either by phone or online. Learn more at osha.gov/report.

Dr. David Michaels is the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Man Injured in TriBeCa Crane Collapse Plans To Sue City for $30M

A 73-year-old man who suffered spinal and skull fractures after a 565-foot crane in TriBeCa crashed down on him while he sat in his parked car last month is planning to sue the city for $30 million, claiming the city was negligent and reckless.

Thomas O’Brien filed a notice of claim against the city Friday — the first step in eventually suing the city — saying the city is responsible for the massive Feb. 5 collapse on Worth Street that left one man dead because of its “negligence, recklessness and carelessness” in overseeing the safety of the giant crawler crane.

“[The City] knew perfectly well that there were very high winds in the forecast,” said O’Brien’s lawyer Jonathan Damashek. “They knew this was a potentially dangerous crane and they should have taken down that crane early, and fully closed down the street.”

According to city officials, construction workers were trying to lower the Bay Crane Company crawler crane and secure it as 25 mph winds gusted through the area about 8:24 a.m., when it toppled over, sending its 565-foot-long arm smashing onto Worth Street stretching from West Broadway to Church Street.

tribeca crane collapse

Department of Buildings officials had been at the site the day before the accident,officials said, and approved the work being done at 60 Hudson St. The crane had been extended to replace air conditioners and generators on the roof of the building, the former Western Union headquarters.

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse, Mayor de Blasio issued emergency  crane regulations in the city, calling for cranes to be secured when winds were forecast to consistently exceed 20 mph or when gusts were predicted to exceed 30 mph, while a special task force studied best practices for crane operations.

But less than two months after the change, the task force recommended relaxing the restrictions, allowing for cranes to once again operate at 30 mph winds — the city’s original limit — in what critics reportedly saw as a bow to pressure from construction companies.

The group also recommended that cranes unsafe to operate at 30 mph should not be allowed to be used at all.

In the notice of claim, first reported by the New York Daily News, O’Brien, who lives in Massachusetts, says he suffered spinal cord injuries and skull fractures when the crane crushed his car.

The enormous collapse killed 38-year-old Upper West Side man David Wichs and injured several others.

O’Brien’s lawyer said his client is still being evaluated for brain injuries and he may need surgery for his two spinal fractures.

Damashek said they also plan on suing the crane owner, its operator and the owner of 60 Hudson St.

A spokesman for the city law department said the city is reviewing the claim.

A DOB spokesman told DNAinfo New York in a statement that “the cause of the crane collapse on Worth Street remains under active investigation.”

The spokesman added that even though the city has “the most robust crane and construction regulations and inspection requirements in the country,” a task force investigating the accidents is slated to “propose additional best practices and regulations where necessary.”

 

Source

Man gets up to 3 years for hiring bellhops, hairdressers as safety managers

Richard Marini, manager of consulting firm Avanti, sentenced in construction fraud scheme

A building safety consultant was sentenced to one to three years in state prison for sending hairdressers, cooks and hotel bellhops to impersonate licensed site safety managers at several New York City high-rise construction sites, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Richard Marini, president of Avanti Building Consultants, purported to offer the inspection services of qualified safety managers at construction sites located in the Financial District, Gramercy Park and the Upper East Side. Instead, Marini hired people from Craigslist — everyone from eBay vendors to musicians — to impersonate site safety managers, according to court documents.

Marini then instructed the Craigslist hires to go to construction sites and sign in using their names or provided names of licensed site safety managers in the safety log. Often, the managers did not realize their names were being used.

In some instances, “interns” would sign the name of a deceased site safety manager, according to court documents.

The scheme occurred from 2012 to early 2014, when a Department of Buildings inspector noticed a log was signed by a man who had died the year before, the New York Post reported.

Marini and several of those he hired were arrested in July 2014. Marini pleaded guilty in October 2015. He is also ordered to pay $610,000 in restitution.

After a fatal crane collapse on Worth Street earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week the city will quadruple fines for serious safety lapses and undertake “proactive” safety investigations at 1,500 construction sites. The new fines and rules come at a time there has been a significant increase in accidents — they rose 24 percent in 2014 to 231 — amid a construction boom.

OSHA to fine N.H. roofer with record of skipping safeguards

A New Hampshire roofing contractor is facing $152,460 in proposed fines by federal regulators for exposing his employees to falls and other hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Litchfield, New Hampshire-based contractor Michael Cahoon, doing business as High & Dry Roofing, after an inspection found employees working at heights more than 20 feet without fall protection and proper ladder safeguards, according to a news release issued by the agency Tuesday.

A followup inspection two days after the initial one in June found the same hazards again, leading regulators to cite Mr. Cahoon for two willful violations of workplace safety standards, according to the release and citations.

The inspection also identified four repeated violations for hazards similar to those cited in 2012 after OSHA inspections at High & Dry Roofing worksites in Hampton and North Hampton, New Hampshire, including failing to provide fall protection for employees working on scaffolds, lack of hard hats and eye protection for workers and failure to secure the operating parts of an air compressor from contact, according to the release.

OSHA also issued four serious citations for placing scaffolding too close to a live, 240-volt electrical line; inadequate scaffold access; using ladders on scaffold platforms; and failing to train workers on fall protection, according to the agency.

After the latest violations, the company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which keeps an eye on employers who, according to the agency, have demonstrated indifference to their Occupational Safety and Health Act obligations through willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations.

“This is a repeat violator who knowingly and needlessly refuses to follow basic safety procedures,” Rosemarie Ohar Cole, OSHA’s area director for New Hampshire, said in a statement. “High & Dry Roofing employees face the risk of death or disabling injuries every time their employer denies them vital and legally required safeguards.”

Mr. Cahoon could not be immediately reached for comment.